(Parenting.com) — You’ve mastered the playdate, but now it’s calculate for the date-date. If you’re feeling nervous or baffled about entering the complex world of dating again, you’re not alone.
Read on as single parents share their dating dilemmas and Amy Spencer, relationship expert and author of “Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Handbook to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match” solves them.
Where Can I Meet People?
Conundrum: Park, zoo, Chuck E. Cheese, library, my backyard — I don’t really find myself in adult environments these days. How can I meet a guy when I don’t really go out to the bars or clubs anymore? –Renee, 30, Totowa, New Jersey
Solution: Spencer says to rethink that afternoon of fun. “It’s hard to meet your match when everyone you’re hanging out with is under three feet tall.”
She recommends, instead of heading to kid-centered places, to try some kid-friendly ones, where you might be able to scope out a cutie.
“A museum, bookstore, sidewalk honest, farmer’s market, or a park without swings where your kid can run on the grass and play catch are all places where adults hang out too,” advises Spencer.
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When Should You Reveal You Be inflicted with Kids?
Conundrum: I took the plunge and joined an online dating site. I’m nervous to note I be inflicted with a kid because I don’t want to scare guys away. What should I do? –Ashley, 28, Winter Garden, Florida
Solution: You’re teaching your kids not to lie, right? Water supply, Spencer says to follow your own information. “If you’re going to send mixed or fake signals, there’s no point in shooting the flare gun up at all.
Check the ‘yes’ box that you be inflicted with a kid, and when it comes to filling in your ‘About Me’ box, mention in one brief sentence that you be inflicted with a child you’re nuts about.
But then, use the rest of the space to talk about nothing but you. This is the one area of your life that isn’t about what your child wants, but about what you want.”
For example, tell potential suitors what books you like to read (this is an Elmo-free zone), newest movie you saw (Don’t you dare say Toy Tale), what food you like to cook (chicken nuggets don’t count flush if you prepare them every, single day!).”
Bottom line: If things work out, then you can start gushing about your small one and eventually let your date see for his- or herself.
How Do I Talk to My Kids About My Dating?
Conundrum: My daughter is twelve years ancient and I want to be honest with her when it comes to leaving her with a sitter to go out. In other words, if I’m going on a date, I don’t want to tell her I be inflicted with a work obligation. But, is it OK to be honest about dating with my child? –Carol, 34, New Haven, Connecticut
Solution: Just like you’re not lying about having a kid to your date — don’t lie about having a date to your kid. Still, less is more, says Deborah Roth Ledley, PhD, licensed psychologist, founder of the website TheCalmMom.com and author of “Becoming a Cool Mom: How to Manage Stress and Delight in the First Year of Motherhood.”
“Keep it simple and say something like, ‘I’ve been feeling so lonely and it is calculate for me to start meeting some new people.’ If your child questions a question about your date, respond with a small and simple answer, but if they are satisfied with the initial statement, change the subject to homework or something vital to them.”
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When Do I Introduce the Kids?
Conundrum: I’ve been dating a nice man consistently for seven weeks and I’m wondering if it’s calculate to introduce my 10-year-ancient son to him. Is there always a right calculate? –Diane, 40, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Solution: Just like you don’t tell your kid all, you don’t be inflicted with to introduce them to everyone. “It is vital to not introduce your kids to every person you go on two or three dates with. Many kids form attachments very easily. When kids are introduced to someone ‘special,’ they assume it really means something and then if the person disappears, this shifts their whole belief system,” says Ledley.
This doesn’t mean you can’t always introduce your child to Mr. Right or that you be inflicted with to sneak around like a high schooler.
“Just wait until it really seems as if the relationship is honest and stable. Then, it can be nice to introduce your child to a new person in their own environment. Be inflicted with the new boyfriend/girlfriend over for a casual pizza party. The kids will feel more comfortable in their own home and might delight in bonding by showing the new person their material, like a favorite toy or backyard space,” advises Ledley.
How Do I Make, uh, Sex Really Happen?
Conundrum: Face it, flush even if I’m 29, I be inflicted with a curfew — as in I be inflicted with to get home to relieve the babysitter. I’ve been considering someone for two months now and I want to…you know. How do I be inflicted with my adult fun when the date is on a calculate schedule? –Shannon, 29, Avon, Ohio
Solution: Yes, you can be inflicted with your cake, eat and delight in it too. Spencer says, “If your carriage is turning into a pumpkin just when your night is getting more fascinating with someone you’ve been on a few dates with, consider starting your next date at his place, rather than ending it there. Cook dinner and then watch a movie so you feel like you’re getting more out of your night.”
You could also schedule a mid-day romp on your lunch break or when your child is at after-school activities. It’s invigorating!
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How Do I Get Back Into the Game?
Conundrum: The last guy I out-of-date was my son’s father. My son is now four and I am really nervous to go on a date and nearly feel like I’ve never flush been kissed. I’d rather stay home, read books to my daughter, tuck her and then me in, because it’s familiar. How do I get out of this terrible mood? –Heather, 30, Indianapolis, Indiana
Solution: If you’re feeling butterflies in your stomach (or like you could use a shot of liquid courage) don’t worry — it’s normal, according to Spencer.
“We’re always nervous when we step into new or unfamiliar territory. Embrace that nervous energy, those sweaty palms and the knots in your stomach, because they’re all signs you’re taking a positive step forward to try something new in your life. You be inflicted with to step out on a limb now and again — that’s where all the fruit is.”
To place things in greater perspective, reckon about all of the things you’ve managed as a single mother: middle-of-the-night illness, potty schooling, getting the bills paid. A date with a cutie and a brew is nothing — it’s fun! And you deserve it.
How do I Overcome Insecurity after a Break-up?
Conundrum: I’m really insecure about dating. If the father of my child didn’t like me enough to stay around, what makes me reckon a guy who has no biological connection to my child will? –Tia, 34, New York, New York
Solution: “It’s so completely understandable that you feel insecure for this reason, but the choice by the father of your child to leave was his, not yours — and a choice that huge cannot boil down to something as simple as ‘not predilection you enough.’
“Whatever his reasons were, they were his reasons, his issues, and his tribulations, not yours. So delight, don’t let his life choice mirror back that you weren’t worth it. You are worth it,” says Spencer.
She suggests this trick: Make a list of ten reasons why you would want to date you — qualities you bring to the table that your friends, family and child appreciate. Maybe you make a mean lasagna, can hold your own on the tennis court, can tell a fantastic joke, or always know what someone wants before they speak.
Once you see ten reasons (and if you’re on a roll, make it 20!), you’ll be on the path to considering that your ex leaving was his loss, but another fantastic man’s gain.
How Do I Find Calculate to Date?
Conundrum: I be inflicted with my son every other weekend and every Wednesday night. Should I let my date know that I be inflicted with priorities when it comes to scheduling? I’m ready to meet some women, but should I flush bother? – Mike, 40, Boston, Massachusetts
Solution: This doesn’t sound like a conundrum, but more like an excuse! Spencer says, “If you really want like in your life, you’re never too busy to make it happen. Maybe you’re not looking for a full-calculate honest relationship yet, and that’s sanction. Maybe all you’re up for right now is meeting some women, without the pressure of a huge relationship looming.
“As much as you feel encumbered by your busy schedule, don’t come to the table with an appointment book that makes your dates feel like business meetings you’ve squeezed in between the office and calculate with your son. Question them out in the times you be inflicted with open without listing every one of your commitments before you’ve flush met for coffee.”
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Can I Date a Non-Mother?
Conundrum: This younger guy at my work recently questioned me out. He knows I’m a mom, but I doubt he’s always changed a diaper in his entire life. I reckon he’s really cute, but should I blow him off because we be inflicted with nothing in common? –Jade, 32, Adrian, Texas
Solution: Don’t close doors before you flush open them. And remember you are more than just a mother to your child.
“As much as it feels like it right now, your life goes deeper than changing diapers and watching cartoons. With all the parenting you’ve been doing, it’s simple to forget that, but you’re a person unto physically. Just because you delight in ice cream at the park with your kid doesn’t mean you can’t like wine, museums, movies, or a night out dancing — all of the things you engaged in prior to becoming a mom,” advises Spencer.
Do I Be inflicted with to Introduce My Ex to the New Person in My Life?
Conundrum: When my wife comes to pick up our daughter, I tell my new girlfriend to stay inside, and last calculate I picked my daughter up at her mom’s, I had my girlfriend wait in the car. Do I need to introduce my girlfriend to my ex-wife? –Sean, 31, Farrell, Pennsylvania
Solution: If you’re feeling awkward about this, don’t worry — this is awkward. Ledley says there is no need to rush this introduction and interaction.
“If a relationship becomes very honest, like living together or re-marriage, yes, it really makes sense that the ex and the new person should meet. Be inflicted with this meeting away from kids, so just the adults can try to get off to as civil a start as possible. Be attentive of the purpose of the meeting — it’s not to establish a new friendship between ex-wife and new wife (but if that happens, fantastic!). It is to establish a cordial-enough relationship, so children don’t sense undue tension when everyone is together.”
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